LinkedIn is the most powerful and active business social network on the planet and we already wrote about how it should form an integral part of a commercial real estate social media marketing strategy.
For this reason alone, every commercial real estate company and professional should be using it actively to engage with prospects and clients alike whether it is for building their personal brand, commercial real estate prospecting or promoting their listings.
Not only does LinkedIn offer a direct line to the people you most want to talk with, it allows you to showcase your property listings (whether leasing or investment sales) in a forum targeted to your audience.
To get the most out of your LinkedIn efforts, however, there are some best practices you should be following – tips that will allow you to better attract attention, engage prospects, and drive visits to your property listings.
Let’s review some of the most important areas of an effective LinkedIn strategy and the things you can do right now to improve your performance on the platform.
How to Use LinkedIn as a Content Platform
There are three types of LinkedIn posts, and each of them can be supplemental to your broader marketing goals. They include:
- Company Posts – Posted to your Company or Organization Page, these posts are branded by your CRE business, and therefore can be as promotional as you want them to be. They are also the only posts eligible for paid campaigns so offer a number of benefits over the other two options.
- Personal LinkedIn Posts – Posted directly to your personal profile, these are the bulk of the posts you see in the news feed when you login each day. They are the most likely to get engagement, but also the hardest to make directly promotional for your CRE listings.
- LinkedIn Articles – LinkedIn has a communal publishing platform. Once called Pulse, the article function allows you to share content with anyone who follows your profile as a thought leader, your direct connections, and a much larger potential audience if it gets picked up by editorial. This can be a potentially powerful resource if used properly.
Each of these options has different benefits, so it’s important to build a strategy that draws from them as needed. Let’s look closer at how to create, promote, and engage with people using this content.
General Guidelines for Posting on LinkedIn
Regardless of which type of post you are publishing, it’s important to build something that speaks to your target audience directly. Here are some things to keep in mind when crafting content:
- Is It Professional? – LinkedIn is a professional network. It’s designed for sharing career and industry related tips and advice, not for politics, general complaining, or YouTube videos. As a social network, there is bound to be some crossover, and your content should still be entertaining and engaging whenever possible, but keep it professional.
- Does It Answer a Question or Provide a Tip? – Content should be actionable as well – it should speak to the core needs of your target audience. Other people may see the posts, but make sure you’re offering real advice they can use in their lives.
- Is It Consumable on Mobile Devices? – Make sure your content is accessible and mobile friendly. Don’t write long, paragraph heavy content that is hard to read on a phone (more than half of all content on LinkedIn is accessed via phone).
If you do all three of these things, you’re already several steps ahead of everyone else.
Anatomy of a Good LinkedIn Post
Some other things to keep in mind when structuring your LinkedIn Post include:
- Image Selection – While not required, if you plan on linking back to your website, publishing long form content as an article, or posting to your company page, strong visuals that represent your subject are important.
- Visible Text in the Feed – Your post, especially if long, will only show the first hundred or so characters in the feed. Those 100 characters should define the purpose of the post, outline the solution you’ll offer, and engage with your target audience.
- Link to a landing page – The space available in a LinkedIn post is limited and before your users will get in touch they will want to know more about what you’re offering. Linking to a property website from your LinkedIn post enables your prospects to learn more about the location, amenities and availabilities and further entice them to contact you.
- Adding Keywords and Hashtags – Keyword integration is important for all digital content, especially on a social platform heavily on reliant on algorithms to showcase your posts. Target local, relevant terms and supplement with hashtags that highlight specific topics you’re discussing.
- Call to Action – If you want someone to click a link, download a document, give you a call, or leave a comment, ask them to do it. Include a call to action, the same as you would on your website or in an email.
- Supporting Content on Your Feeds – Make sure your content is surrounded by other strong content that discusses similar topics. If you post an article to your company page, for example, that offers tips about selecting a certain type of property in your area, other posts could be for some of those listings in the area.
- Actively Engage in Comments – Keep an eye on the comments – if someone asks a question or offers a compliment, respond to it as soon as you see it. That kind of engagement not only encourages more responses, but it keeps your post higher in the feed for longer.
Do these seven things and your LinkedIn posts will be targeted, engaging, and most importantly, perfectly situated to take advantage of people who use LinkedIn as a research platform.
Tips to Generate Organic Visibility on LinkedIn
It’s all fine and good to write a killer post and optimize it using the above tips, but what if no one sees it?
Social media has a finite window during which a post can “catch” and spread to an ample audience. So you need to optimize and promote effectively to get it in front of the right people.
Here are some of the things you should be doing:
- Tag Colleagues and Team Members – Draw in the people most likely to engage with your posts, including coworkers, colleagues, and team members at your CRE business.
- Mention Your Tenants – You can also use the tagging functionality to mention any tenants that you want to feature in your post.
- Connect Personal and Company Pages – Make sure your Company Page is linked from your Personal Profile as your place of employment. Everyone else in the office should do the same to increase the reach of that Page.
- Engage with Other People’s Posts – Spend time every day commenting on, liking, and reading other people’s posts. Not only does this familiarize you with what works and what doesn’t, it gets your name out there.
- Tag Influencers in Your Posts – Tag people with much larger audiences than you in your posts. Do this in context and with the right content and, if they respond, you can greatly increase your reach in a single post.
Combined with the formatting best practices, these steps will ensure your LinkedIn post is not only intriguing to potential prospects; it will provide ample content for search engines and LinkedIn’s own algorithm for showing it to people who are most likely to be interested in your property listings and marketing content.
We could write an entire, separate post about paid campaigns on LinkedIn – they offer a powerful tool to hyper-target your ideal audience – but for the purposes of this blog post, we’ll keep it to the basics.
When properly executed, a paid campaign allows you to select key demographics and employment data that can be used for targeting.
This includes things like:
- Job Title
- Company Size
- Interests and Location
- Years of Experience
- Size of Audience on LinkedIn
In short, every detail you could possibly think of to narrow down the exact people you want to see your ads. If you are targeting Brokers with 10+ years of experience and 25+ employees within 25 miles of your location, you can do that. And it gets more detailed from there.
The key to successful LinkedIn Paid Campaigns is not the targeting, but the content you pair with it.
Unlike Google AdWords, which are based on specific search queries or Facebook which is based on Interests and a handful of other less specific personal demographics, LinkedIn ads can get quite pricey – costing as much as $10-$20 per click.
The cost is worth it when you consider the hyper targeting you get, but if you don’t spend ample time building strong ad copy that approaches those individuals just right, the cost will add up fast.
To get the most from your Ad campaigns, consider the following:
- Format and Placement of Your Ads – Ads can be run as thumbnails in the sidebar or as in-feed news items. The latter will perform much better (but cost more as a result). The combination of good content that you boost and share via advertising can be extremely effective though when done right.
- Pay Per Click or Pay Per Impression – The default is to pay for every click you get on an ad, but don’t be afraid to experiment with impression-based payment as well. If your content is attractive enough, this can be less expensive.
- Property Listings or Content Shares – For direct sales, you can share property listings and links back to your real estate website, but keep these super targeted. Content shares can be more general, and will have a lower ROI, but much higher click rates.
- What is the Value Per Lead – Know your targets. How much should you spend per click to make it worth your while to spend money on ads?
LinkedIn’s platform can be a hugely powerful, hyper targeted tool in your arsenal, but if you don’t use it properly, it can also be a money sink, so be careful to build ads that you know can work based on your target audience.
Leveraging LinkedIn Groups
The last thing to touch on is LinkedIn Groups. At first glance, these look like a professional take on Facebook Pages or Forums, and while you wouldn’t be wrong, the value of these groups for smart marketers is immense – even greater than either of those.
Because you’re looking at incredibly targeted, often high selective groups that contain a very specific subset of professional in a given field. Looking for real estate investors in the tri-state area? There’s a group for that. Landlords in Miami? Yup.
That kind of targeting and the sheer volume of potential groups in which you can reach out to target prospects makes Groups a must in your marketing strategy.
It also makes it a tricky minefield to navigate, because a LOT of people try to spam these groups. To get started, consider the following:
- Most Groups Require Approval – If your profile is a sales-heavy brochure attempting to promote your business, some groups will decline your invite request because it’s likely you’ll spam them. Be careful of what your public profile says and how it conveys your value add.
- Group Admins Will Ban Fast – While not as trigger happy as mods on Reddit or in some large Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups don’t put up with a lot of spam. Your posts will need to add value and provide useful information to users, not drive traffic to your sales pages.
- Groups Require Personal Profiles and Are Limited – You can only join groups as an individual and you can only join a certain number of groups at a time. So, you’ll need to select one or more people in your CRE business to join target groups, and you’ll need to be somewhat selective of which ones you join.
- You Can’t Automate Posting – LinkedIn recently removed API access to groups, meaning all posts must be manually created from personal accounts. This limits the ability to automate or scale your posting to multiple groups at once.
This might seem like a lot of restrictions, but keep in mind that the more restrictions you see, the fewer people will attempt to do this. If you follow the rules and do everything right, you’ll be situated to reap the benefits of your efforts. Here’s what you should be doing:
- Post Regularly – Don’t post only when you want to promote content on your site. Post on a regular basis to engage with the group and build a reputation.
- Answer Questions and Provide Value – Answer common questions, provide value through links you share, and call out other people’s content as valuable.
- Focus on a Handful of Quality Groups – You can join 30+ groups, but it will be difficult to maintain a relationship and any kind of authority in all 30 of those. Choose a small number with a good following to target first.
- Share Marketing Content, Not Sales Materials – Always share content that can provide value to people, not just to you. Brochures, sales links, and other sales-first content will get flagged or ignored.
Do it right and your LinkedIn Group efforts will drive results in the form of clicks, inquiries, and new connections on the platform.
Real Estate Listing Examples for LinkedIn
Need inspiration for your next post? Check out the below examples for the next time you want to post real estate listings on LinkedIn and generate visibility for your properties.